For most police officers, Halloween is one of the busiest nights of the year to be on duty. But for one local officer a busy schedule did not get in the way of performing an act of kindness and restoring a young man’s faith in humanity.
On Halloween evening Officer Ryan Miller of the Farmington Police Department received a call regarding the theft of an inflatable yard decoration from in front of a home and was asked to take a report.
Although Miller has taken several theft reports during his career this one was a little different.
The Halloween inflatable belonged to Evan Robinson, a young teen who used money earned from mowing lawns to purchase the lawn decoration in 2014. To Evan, who was diagnosed with autism at the age of 3, the decoration meant more than most people could possibly imagine.
According to his mother, Shawnna, Evan was very proud of the decoration and would come home every day and maintain it.
Then, while passing out candy Saturday evening, it was discovered someone had taken the inflatable from the front yard.
When officer Miller arrived he took the report and went on his way. But, as Miller wrote on his Facebook page, “things I see done to victims at work really hurt my heart,” which caused the officer to react in a way that would amaze most people, especially in today’s world where police officers are often seen as the enemy.
Seeing how much distress the young man was in and learning how Evan worked to purchase the inflatable with his own hard-earned money, Miller quickly went and purchased a brand new inflatable - a Christmas inflatable - out of the kindness of his own heart and with his own money.
“What a kind and generous thing to do,” Shawnna said. “Officer Miller went above and beyond. Simply no words can describe what we are feeling. Evan and our family can never repay such an awesome act.”
Shawnna added that with the new inflatable, Miller attached a note for Evan saying he hoped he enjoyed it and to "pay it forward" with an act of kindness for someone else.
In addition to Miller demonstrating how much police officers really do care about their community, the Farmington Police Department and community's citizens also shared how every individual in the community matters.
Within minutes of Miller filing his theft report, the police department posted to their Facebook page a photo of Evan taken previously standing proudly alongside his inflatable decoration and explained what had occurred, asking that anyone with information come forward.
Comments immediately began to express shock and upset at the actions of the thief or thieves. Some of those commenting even took to Amazon.com to see if the same inflatable could be purchased as a replacement to give to the hard working teen.
Then around 1:30 a.m., Shawnna and her husband, John, awoke to a noise outside. The doorbell rang. The couple opened the door to discover the inflatable lying on the lawn.
No only had the community and police stepped up to support Evan, but apparently the thief or thieves had experienced a change of heart as well.
Word of Evan's prized yard decoration and all that unfolded Halloween evening spread quickly. The Robinsons were visited by television crews on Sunday.